The Imo State Deputy Governor, Prof. Placid Njoku, has charged the new Vice Chancellor of the Imo State University (IMSU), Prof. Peter Akah, to enthrone stability in the institution and restore it to the path of academic excellence.
Njoku, who spoke when the Vice Chancellor led a delegation of principal officers of the institution to the Government House, charged him to restructure the institution to meet the demands of the 21st century, saying that IMSU used to be one of the best in the country.
“IMSU is the future of Imo State whereby if things are got right in the university, then definitely things will become great in Imo State as the greater number of people that are trained in the institution that will constitute the workforce, producers, policy influencers, leaders of thought, the clergy, parents, and indeed, the greater number of the highly educated citizenry of the state,” he said.
The deputy governor, who was a former vice chancellor of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, lamented that despite decades of existence IMSU could not pay salaries without depending on government, urged Akah and his team “to wean the university off the government by looking inwards, checking your own strength and utilising them in generating money that the university can use to fund itself.”
Njoku said Governor Hope Uzodinma had difficulty finding the best way to deal with the institution’s problems.
“If what is happening in the university continues, where the management of IMSU does not know the number of students they have, the process of admitting students is a mess, a place where people stay for years without knowing when they will graduate and several others, then the university will never be able to train the kind of people that will plan well for the state and the country”.
While noting that workers were entitled to their wages, Njoku expressed displeasure at the manner unions in the university engrossed in self-aggrandizement, and charged them to justify their salaries by being responsible, especially in research.
Responding, Akah, who noted that the major challenge facing the institution was poor funding, asked for encouragement and support from the government, while promising to leave the institution better than he met it.